Welcome to the quest.

The world record shoal bass is 8 lbs and 12 ozs and was caught on October 27 1977 in the Apalachicola River Florida. It has only been in the past few years that it has been targeted specifically by river fisherman with the rising popularity of kayak fishing.
A few years ago I discovered kayak fishing and decided to make the shoal bass my my main focus. It was even more recently that I was approached by a fellow kayak angler that was interested in making a film about the hunt for the world record shoal bass which sparked my interest greatly and spawned the creation of this blog. The hunt for this record fish has since become the focus of all of my fishing activities. I now target the shoal bass exclusively. I was recently asked by a fellow angler if I thought I really had a chance at catching a world record ? My reply.. Well my chances are are as good as yours or any body else but if I do YOU are damn sure gonna hear about it. I would like to dedicate this blog and my efforts to Philip (Swampthang) Mays who is the first person to ever take me on a kayak trip down the river for shoal bass and started this addiction that I love so much. Phil left this world recently for a better place. He was a true sportsman and will be deeply missed. Thank you Phil.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Build a better bait.

Sometime you just have to make it your own. What I mean by that is you cant always take a new bait right out of the box tie it on and expect to catch a fish with it. If you are like me sometimes you just have to tinker with it a bit and make it work for your style of fishing. This is what I had to do with the jig. When I got into this whole river fishing thing  I realized that I would need to adjust my fishing style a bit and update my tackle box. The jig is a bait that I had just not ever had much success with and probably more for the reason that I had not given it much of a chance. When I started researching river fishing and especially the Shoal bass I realized that the jig was a bait that I would need to learn to fish.
River bass love craw fish..In fact the craw is one of their primary foods so there was no doubt it would need to be on WJ's menu of baits to offer up to those monster shoalies that I wanted to catch.

Well the jig also happens to be one of those baits that I had struggled with in the past. I always seemed to get hung up on logs or rocks and break them off. I really had a hard time learning to fish this bait but it wasn't the bait itself that was the problem it was more of me not being able to pick the right one that worked for my fishing style and for the river conditions that I was fishing. This is where it pays to do some research. It also pays to join up with one of the local fishing forums and reach out to some of the veterans for advice. Well that's exactly what I did and was fortunate to get some really good advice and direction from one of my fellow river bassers on how to make my own jigs. Now I am not talking about building from total scratch which you can do if you like but I am talking about getting the right components to put together a bait that works best for your fishing style and the river or lake that you are fishing.

In the picture above are the components that I found that enable me to put together a jig and craw combo that worked well for the way I liked to fish and worked excellent for the conditions that I was fishing. The jig itself was the most important part in that it was the perfect weight and shape and style.The trailers are made by http://www.netbait.com/home/ The skirt is a finesse style skirt which allows for a slow fall and the trailers worked perfectly with the jig and skirt combo. It took some experimenting to come up with the right combo but with some guidance from my fellow river fishermen and some old fashion trial and error I finally came up with a good combo that worked well for me and has helped me catch some nice fish.

The picture above is the finished baits and I can assure you that these have become some of my go to baits in my arsenal.  So the whole point to this post is that you cant always go to the store and buy lure and expect to catch fish right out of the box. Some times you just have to modify it a bit or tinker around and figure out how to make that bait work for you and your fishing style.. It can actually be very rewarding when you modify or create your own and go out and catch a nice fish. All you have to do is a little research on what you are trying to accomplish and go out there and find or make the tool you need to do it. Fishing forums and clubs can be great resources to find the information you need and there are some great suppliers out there that have all the parts you need to make or build just what you are looking for .Before you know it you will have a box full of home made special weapons like these.

So there you go folks.If you are trying to learn a new bait and the stuff you are buying at the store is just not working for you just take a look at it and do a little research and see if you can modify the bait to work better for you or just build your own..Don't get frustrated and give up.
I would like to give a big shout out to http://www.jannsnetcraft.com/ who is a great resource for all your lure building supplies.At the bottom of this post I will also had a few links to some other great river fishing resources.Fish on my river fishing friends and don't give up if you are getting frustrated with a  certain technique you are trying to master. Reach out to some of the forum resources, study hard and make that bait your own..Make it work for you. Hey and I am always willing to help where I can..Shoot me a email..If I dont know the answer I bet I know someone who does.
See you on the river .

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